It's 2011 and while the coldest weather of the winter is more than likely ahead of us, the days have already started getting longer, which means grilling and barbecue are right around the corner.
Given the time of the year and the tradition of making resolutions, I thought I would devote today's column to New Year's resolutions for 2011.
Resolution #1. Make a commitment to get those you love (children, grandchildren, family and friends) involved in the outdoor cooking process. If you have kids or grandkids, think of it as passing on a family tradition that they can use for years to come.
Resolution #2. Broaden your horizon by trying new recipes and new grilling or barbecue techniques.
It is easy to get in a rut, cooking the same thing over and over. It has happened to me many times. Get out of your comfort zone. If you always use gas, try firing up the charcoal grill on the weekends. Try slow cooking using indirect heat. Mix it up. It's interesting, fun and deepens your outdoor cooking skills.
Resolution #3. Commit to acquiring a good collection of outdoor grilling and barbecue books. When you swing by a book store, stop by and check out the cooking section. You will find lots of great books detailing decades-old recipes and technique tips from some of the best outdoor chefs in the country.
This resolution will help you achieve resolution #2.
Resolution #4. If you have never attempted the “classic” of all BBQ, please, please please commit yourself to preparing pulled pork sandwiches. Once you master this technique of
preparing barbecue, you will be seen as an expert in your neighborhood.
Resolution #5. Take a serious inventory of your grilling and barbecue equipment. Is it time to
upgrade? Do you have a good set of barbecue and grilling utensils? Maybe Santa forgot that you are a grilling and barbecue enthusiast. Do your part to reignite the 2011 economy by purchasing a new grill, smoker, utensils, etc.